“You’re not going to rape and kill me are you?” Mary asked out of the blue, her eyes starting to tear up again.
The powers that be always said that society could not – would not – ever revert back to a more primitive state. But Clark knew better, he knew that after this plague, this sickness, whatever you wanted to call it, passed; there would be chaos, raping and plundering. He figured that society would revert back to some sort of futile state, where one group would try to intimidate another through fear. Sure there might be a community of what was left of the good people, but they would have to build walls, high walls, if they were going to survive.
Then again, Clark thought, maybe all that was left of the human race was right here, sitting on this park bench. Clark had seen only one other living person in the last twenty-fours hours, besides Mary, that is. And he was a man whose eye’s where so blood shot that they seemed to almost glow a dark crimson red. His skin was pale, almost like a dull shade of silver and reminded Clark of the color a chrome bumper turns after it hasn’t been waxed in a very long time, he hobbled past Clark, holding a red hankie up to his mouth, the hankie stained from the blood that he was constantly coughing up. That was this morning. Clark could only imagine that that man was dead; hoped that he was dead for his sake.
“No, my days of raping and pillaging are over.” He replied, doing his best to smile, doing his best to bring a little humor into a world that had seen nothing but terror, chaos, and death in the last few days. “Now that the end of the world has come I think that I would like to find a place to retire. Retiring at thirty isn’t so bad.”
“You’re thirty?” She asked, looking up at him as he got up from the bench to stretch his legs.
“I turned twenty-seven four days ago.”
“Happy birthday,” Clark said, thinking of how old she must have been have been when her parents had died. Eighteen. The thought caused his stomach to momentarily become unsettled. He was scared shitless when he left home at twenty-two, to have your parents die at the age of eighteen and then be on your own must have been…terrifying.
“I know that we just met, but could I come with?”
Surprised, Clark smiled. “Yeah, sure Mary, you can come with. We’ll go some place worm,” he said, excitement creeping into his voice. “It will be just me and you and all the bananas and coconuts we can eat. We won’t have to worry about anything, not cold weather, not our jobs, not about if it’s to crowded. We will have the entire world to ourselves.”
Smiling, Mary got up off the bench. “We can sit on the beach everyday if we want and, you and me will stay in some upscale hotel room – free of course…”
“Of course, and we’ll sleep in a different bed every night…”
“And we’ll stay up late and get up late and we’ll play our music as loud as we want…”
“Yeah. . .” Clark started to say, then reality hit them. “Yeah.”
Of course it wouldn’t be that simple. Being the last two people alive only meant that you had to be careful. You had to look around every corner when walking down the streets for fear that there might be a Lion, or a Tiger, or a Bear – oh, my – just around the corner waiting to make you his dinner. There would be no hospitals, in case you cut yourself, there would be nobody coming to your rescue. It was a frightening thought.
Food would become scarce after a while. Clark didn’t know how to hunt and he doubted Mary knew how to either. In a few weeks all the meat and the milk and frozen pizzas and even the hostess cakes in the now empty supermarkets would spoil or go stale. No more Hungry Man Dinners, no more Fruit Loops, no CheezeWiz.
**I found this story while I was going through some old writing stuff. I didn’t write this one too long ago – 6 months perhaps – but it still amazes how good this story is compared to some other things that I have been writing lately, although, my mind has been elsewhere.
The inspiration for this story came when I read an article about the end of the world and one man’s hypothesis that the society would never revert back to what it once was, i.e. horse and carriage, pre-industrial age. I beg to differ. Tear away the delicate fabric that makes up our current society and you will have. . .chaos, you will be living a history that you thought was long gone.